Guys that shave can often run into similar problems and challenges. For black men, though, there are extra challenges that come into black. Black hair tends to curl, which increases the risk for issues like ingrown hairs, among other distinct features.
To help you out with getting the best shaving experience, here are our top shaving tips for black men!
Try a Single Blade Safety Razor
If you’ve ever looked at the variety of razors out there, you’ve probably noticed that a lot of them have multiple blades. The reason for this is simple: it’s a lot easier to get a close shave with these systems, which is what a lot of guys want.
However, being perfectly clean-shaven makes it more likely for hairs to grow back ingrown, especially when they curl in from an early stage. If this is a common problem for you, switch to a single blade safety razor as this is one of the best razors for a black man. You won’t get a closer shave, but you’ll prevent a lot of potential issues.
Use Pre-Shave Oil and Shaving Lotion
Black men’s facial hair can be very coarse, making it difficult to shave and trim easily. Pre-shave oil helps soften up your beard hair and give essential nutrients. Not only can these oils help with making shaving more manageable, but they make your facial hair look its best.
Additionally, using a razor on your bare skin can lead to irritation. Black men razor bumps are much more likely without any protection, so make use of shaving lotion to help your skin. Lotions tend to put more of a barrier between your skin and the razor than creams (which are mostly air) do, so I recommend those for better skin protection.
Use Warm Water While Shaving
Another option you have to make your skin more amicable to shaving is to run warm water over your face. Much like pre-shave oil, the warmth can soften up your facial hair and make it easier to work with. Warm water also makes your skin more relaxed throughout the process. For some, it’s easiest to do this by shaving in the shower, but you can also splash water onto your face at the sink. Whichever method you go with, make sure you use warm water rather than hot!
Use a Face Moisturizer
Keeping your skin hydrated and healthy is essential, but it’s not always obvious how that connects to shaving. The fact of the matter is that hydrated skin is way less likely to develop irritation after shaving—which can improve your shaving experience.
There’s no shortage of men’s moisturizer products out there, and adding them to your daily routine can help ease post-shaving irritation. The key is to get one meant for use on your face, as opposed to other body lotions. For best results, use your moisturizer of choice once in the morning and once at night.
Another area of skincare that can make a big difference when shaving is exfoliating. If you’re not too familiar with the process and options, there are two main ways to exfoliate: chemically and mechanically. Chemical exfoliation relies on the formula of skincare products to help dissolve dead skin that builds up. Mechanical exfoliation tends to use specific brushes that help scrape away those dead cells, kind of like how sandpaper works down the grain on wood.
There’s no shortage of options when it comes to exfoliating products, and you can easily find a method that combines both chemical and mechanical means. Whenever you clear away dead skin layers, you’re getting rid of interference with shaving and also allowing hairs to stand up straighter, reducing the risk of ingrown issues that can cause razor bumps.
Consider Shaving Less Often
Because we like looking clean-shaven, many of us shave daily. However, given all the risks for ingrown hairs and other irritations that black men face, this routine may not be the best idea. If you’ve found yourself dealing with all sorts of shaving-related issues, it may be time to cut back on how often you clear out your stubble.
Even shifting from shaving once a day to every other day can have a considerable impact. I don’t know about you, but I’d much rather my skin feel better throughout the day than overdoing it.
Avoid Antibacterial Aftershave
We support using aftershave on your skin, but our bodies don’t get along as well with alcohol-based aftershaves as we’d like to think. These products are popular thanks to their antibacterial benefits, but they can do much more harm than good. Alcohol-based products cause our skin to tighten up and dry out—the very things that can lead to post-shave irritation.
Instead, sub out that antibacterial aftershave for an all-natural product. Ingredients like coconut, aloe vera, and even hyaluronic acid can provide the same relief and skin recovery benefits without any of the potential drawbacks.
Don’t Shave Against the Grain
You’ve probably learned that shaving in the opposite direction that your hair grows lets you get a closer shave. From reading this far, you’ve also probably learned that a close shave is a bad idea for black men with tight and curly hairs since it increases the chances of ingrown hairs. So we’re going to tell you to shave in the same direction as your hair growth.
With this approach, you’ll still have some very short leftover hairs, yes. But those hairs will naturally grow away from the skin, saving you the resulting irritation.
Upgrading Your Shaving Routine
Tight and curly hairs can create a lot of issues for black men while shaving. Thankfully, paying attention to how and when you shave can make a lot of difference. By following these tips, doing the proper prep work, and paying attention to how your existing shaving routine impacts your skin, you can start to upgrade for better results.
By preparing yourself in advance, you can save yourself a lot of trouble and irritation later. I hope these shaving tips for black men have been helpful and happy shaving!